The Las Vegas Raiders played in one of the more entertaining games of this past NFL year — the final regular-season game against the Los Angeles Chargers that was thiiiiiis close to ending in a tie. The Raiders won as the clock struck zero in the extra session, earning the franchise’s second playoff berth since 2002.
For Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, it was the first playoff appearance of his eight-year career; he was hurt the last time the Raiders reached the postseason. But the team was impressed enough by his play to offer him a massive contract.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Carr and the Raiders have agreed to a three-year, $121.5 million extension. The deal keeps Carr in Las Vegas through the 2025 season. With eight seasons under his belt, he’s already the longest-tenured quarterback in the entire AFC. He’ll now easily surpass double-digit seasons in the conference.
The $40.5 million annual salary is the fifth-highest among NFL quarterbacks. Last year, Carr set the Raiders franchise record for most passing yards in a single season (4,804) and posted strong numbers in other passing categories. He led the Raiders to multiple comebacks and last-second victories down the stretch, which was enough to get the team into the postseason.
And he did it all while navigating difficult situations. His head coach Jon Gruden resigned after offensive emails leaked and his top receiver Henry Ruggs III was released after being charged with reckless driving and DUI resulting in death.
This upcoming season, Carr will be reunited with his former Fresno State teammate Davante Adams, who just so happens to be among the best receivers in the NFL. If Carr and Adams can reignite the chemistry they had in college, the Raiders could become a very dangerous team.
We’ll wait to throw any ticker-tape parades, but this is a smart move by the Raiders. The price of quarterbacks is only going up, and reaching an extension with Carr — one with some salary-cap flexibility, at that — while he still has a season left on his current deal shows some nice foresight.
And for a team that’s had such instability, having a steady presence under center will only help. If things fall the right way, Carr just might lead the team to its first title in nearly 40 years.